Q

How is the cloud influencing IT infrastructure strategy today?

The IT world faces three major inflection points -- including cloud -- that are reshaping IT infrastructure strategies.

How is cloud influencing IT infrastructure strategy today?

In terms of the vision of the IT world, we are in very interesting times; we are facing three major inflection points.

First, we are facing an inflection point at the infrastructure level -- this is the highly publicized transition to IPv6. This transition is all about scalability in the sense that it is about scaling our infrastructure and environment. On top of that, we have another inflection point we hear a lot about in the news, which is the cloud. "Cloud" is an overloaded term that is oftentimes misunderstood or misinterpreted, but it is still a very powerful discussion point nowadays. In my perspective, the cloud is all about agility. It's typically pitched for cost savings, but I do not believe that is the end goal. On top of that, we have the other inflection point, which is the incredible influx of applications we have been seeing recently. An architect from Disney told me that across the Walt Disney Company properties, they are deploying about two-and-a-half new applications a day.

To get to that point, there are some things IT needs to do to be successful and support the business. They have to have an infrastructure and an IT environment that can sustain those types of lifecycles. The key here is that all three of these inflection points are correlated and complex, and they touch every aspect of the IT environment.

I think it is important to be mindful in the planning and to approach these three trends in a consorted way. It's not just about process or planning, but about looking at the logical reasons why it is good to consider all these three problems together. A common denominator in all three is complexity. At first, it was all about the scare tactics to push people to IPv6 because we were running out of the IPv4 address pool. After that was proven, it is exciting to see is that organizations and people are now starting to shift their drivers and perspectives on IPv6 away from that scare of address exhaustion. Address exhaustion is still the main driver, but it has started to shift to understanding that this inflection point, or this transition to IPv6, is really a great opportunity to change things in the IP world. People are realizing they have the chance to really set the grounds for their next-generation IT infrastructure strategy, as well as to make that once-in-a-career transformation of their workplace or business infrastructure.

Editor's note: With permission of the presenter, this expert answer was excerpted from a recorded presentation given by Popoviciu in 2011 at gogoNET LIVE!, an IPv6-centric conference sponsored by gogo6. View the full presentation here.

This was first published in April 2013

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